Matchwinner Callum Connolly stresses the importance of Blackpool building on opening day win

Saturday’s matchwinner Callum Connolly believes the opening day victory against Reading has given Blackpool a solid platform to build from.

Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 7:00 am

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The defender’s ninth-minute goal was enough for Michael Appleton’s side to edge past the Royals at the weekend.

The hosts produced an exceptional display during the first-half and arguably ought to have ended their lead before the interval.

But with only a one-goal lead to show for their efforts, it made for a nervy second period where Paul Ince’s side came on strong – but thankfully the Seasiders held on for the points.

Appleton’s men can now head to Stoke City next week with plenty of confidence as they face a side who lost their opening day fixture 2-0 to Millwall.

“It’s a good start to the season, so we’re delighted,” Connolly said.

“For the goal, I just decided to gamble. I saw the play was building down the left and I just decided to get in there.

Callum Connolly's early strike helped Blackpool get the season off to a winning start

“I’ve not seen it back, but it looks like Josh Bowler’s shot is saved by the keeper and I just closed my eyes and hit it as hard as I could!

“We played really well in the first-half, it was fluid and we had a lot of the ball. In the second-half, I wouldn’t say we dropped our standards and I wouldn’t say we got comfortable, but I think it’s normal in football you want to hang onto the lead.

“We certainly could have been better with the ball though and we had a few opportunities to get that second, so it would have been nice to tuck one away. But at the end of the day a win is a win.

“It wasn’t a nice feeling when we saw the five minutes go up on the board at the end because they had a bit of momentum.

“They even threw up the keeper in stoppage-time but luckily we held onto the win and kept a clean sheet too.

“It might not have been the prettiest of performances, but we won. It’s important for any team to get off to a positive start to try and build some momentum and luckily we did that.

“It will be another tough game next week, but we’ve started the season well and we need to follow that up now.”